For some reason we need to capture every single moments that we or family had been celebrates. From a holiday, birthday party, or a day trip we might want it all in one video clip and share it to friends or family members. The good news for beginners or event expert is you can create a movie on your Mac using iMovie – the video editing software that Apple bundles with all new Mac.
Here’s how to use iMovie from the basics step and then add some more useful tips to help you get even better results.
Before we begin, here are some tips that should help you get some good material to work with:
- You can use iPhone or iPad for video recording; but make sure its fully charged and have a good camera for recording the video
- Enough space for recording the video, if using iPhone you might need to deleting some apps or video or photos that you not longer need to make more space
- Good quality of videos; recommended to shoot a short clips to make you easier to edit together the short clips. We advise when you are recording video you keep the camera relatively still, panning around slowly, rather than sweeping from one thing to the other, better make the second thing a new clip
- DO NOT ZOOM, because using zoom while video recording will make the quality of the video very poor
- Be quite and do not talk while recording video
- Shooting outside on a sunny day can be the best results. But if indoors, turns on the lights and open the curtain for better lights
How to add movie clips to iMovie:
1. Open iMovie on your Mac.
2. If you are importing footage from your iPhone, plug the device into your Mac via Lightning cable.
3. You may see a message asking you to confirm that you wish to allow the computer to access the information on your iPhone, click on Continue. Then confirm that your Trust the computer on your iPhone (you should see a message pop up on the device). Enter your passcode.
4. If the iMovie Import window isn’t open, click on the down arrow beside the red, yellow and green close/minimise/full screen buttons.
5. Click on Import Media and wait while the Mac and the iPhone sync up. This could take a while the first time you connect if you have a lot of footage on your iPhone.
6. When the two devices are synced, click on your iPhone in the list of Cameras. Or if you were using a camera or camcorder, click on that.
7. You’ll see thumbnails of all the clips on your iPhone (or camera). Scroll to the ones that you wish to use. Select the clips you wish to import. If you want to import a random selection of clips, press Command (cmd) as you select them, if you are selecting all the clips from one day, click on the first then last clips of that day while pressing Shift, and if you are selecting a group of clips click with your mouse and draw a marquee around them. Once the clips you want to use are selected, choose where you wish to Import to by clicking on the dropdown beside Import To: and then click on Import Selected.
8. If you later want to add more clips click on Project Media > Import Media and wait for the Import window to open up again. To avoid importing the same clips twice, make sure there is a tick beside Hide Imported
9. Once your clips are imported you will find them in My Movie in the column on the left. By default iMovie shows clips in a Show Separate Days in Events view, but this meant that our clips were shown newest to oldest, and we wanted to see them in date order. To fix this we went to View and clicked on Show Separate Days in Events. You can also change the order by clicking in View > Sort Clips by and choosing Ascending or Descending but the results will be determined by whether you have Show Separate Days in Events view turned on.
How to edit video in iMovie on the Mac
Once you open up iMovie, the free video editing software on your Mac, you will be able to create three kinds of projects: Media, Projects, Theater, found on the top bar.
- Media: here is your library of different footage clips, stills, and audio to create your videos; for ease of use photos have a camera icon and audio tracks are colored green
- Projects: this is where you work on creating your movie: the main workspace
- Theater: here are your finished projects – you can play them, or use the little icon on the lower right to play, delete, rename or remove them from the cloud storage. You can also distribute it from here, we will come back to this later
1. Prepare the Project Workspace
When you click Project, two options are available: Movie and Trailer.
Trailer is a fun way of creating a little teaser for a movie or combining short clips. It prompts you to create a satisfying short video using templates.
In this article, we are going to look at the Movie method of editing video. These basics apply to Trailer too, and if you have accomplished them, making trailers will be quite easy.
This will take you into the Project workspace. Video editing consists of a Timeline, which is the film going from left to right, with tracks for visuals and audio. There is also an area for media, and windows for playing either the clip or the edited sequence.
The media are your building blocks. The timeline is where you edit visuals, sound, music, effects, and titles to make a satisfying video. iMovie is quite easy for beginners to use.
Drag and drop your media into the timeline to create your video. You can move them around and rearrange by dragging.
Modern video editing is “non-destructive”, that is you can play around with everything to your heart’s content, without ruining the originals, so you can go back if you do something you don’t like.
Cmd+Z undoes the last action.
2. Cutting Video Clips
You can see each clip in the Preview window (or panel). Hitting the space bar plays/stops playing the clip or you can drag the mouse across the timeline to where you want to be.
iMovie editing tips: most clips won’t be the right length. You can edit visuals (still or moving), audio, or music independently. You can also trim clips to the exact duration needed.
How to split a clip in iMovie
You often want to remove the beginning or end of a clip. It is an old rule-of-thumb in film-making to start the camera rolling early and finish late so you capture all the action. That means there is excess to trim in the editing stage.
Move the vertical line with the mouse to where you want to edit, right-click to split the clip into two. Then you can press delete to remove it. You can scrub around in the preview window to find the exact place to cut.
Audio clips can be edited in exactly the same way. You can use the Settings slider to zoom in and out on the timeline. The audio shows the sound graphically. If you look carefully you can see where a particular sound finishes. For example, if you have an interview with someone, and you have asked questions, you can cut them out so the person just appears to be talking continuously.
3. Add Music to iMovie
You can’t really do without music. If you are making a simple movie about your holiday, you might want to get some stock background music (Apple includes various tracks in iMovie). Simply lay that in an audio track. You can fade in and out by dragging on the beginning or end.
Note: if you are making a more complex production – for example with interviews or voice-over – you should not let the music overwhelm the audio. Fade it under the narration – it is actually better to err on the quiet side. Viewers find it quite annoying if they can’t hear what is being said.
4. Add Transitions to Video Clips
These are where two clips merge into each other. In the Transitions menu (on the top bar) you can find plenty of fun ways to go from one visual to the next. All you have to do is drag them into your movie at the appropriate place on the timeline. Note that lots of flashy transitions can become quite irritating to the viewer. The ordinary cut is the standard way. Transitions can be particularly effective when used with titles to introduce the video.
5. Add Titles to Project
Probably the first thing on screen in your film will be the title sequence. This is where you let your audience know that they are going to see something interesting, so think about them carefully. A good title, even if it lasts only a few seconds, primes the viewers for the film.
6. Export Your Project in iMovie
Once you have finished your project and viewed it through a couple of times to check everything is OK, you can go to the very top right-hand corner of the screen and there is an export icon. This allows you to finalize your video for Theater, Email, iTunes, YouTube, Facebook, and various others.
If you plan to put it up on YouTube, click on that icon and a panel comes up which lets you set various parameters of the film, such as description, resolution, and category. Private means only you can see it. You may want to ensure it is ready in your channel before you make it public and distribute it to the world.
If Theater is checked, then it will automatically add it to your Theater and the iCloud.
When you click Next you will be prompted to log in to your YouTube account and upload the movie.